Let’s be honest, cleaning your windows is a never-ending chore, but not all washings are created equal. Whether you are cleaning off a winter's worth of grime in the spring or just doing a basic weekly washing of your windows, here are 5 tips on how to clean windows to leave them sparking clean and streak-free - longer.
1. Prepare your cleaning solution
While you can use a regular glass cleaner, exterior windows generally require something a little heavier or you will be cleaning for a very long time. Two of the best solutions for cleaning windows are plain white vinegar mixed with a few drops of Dawn dishwashing soap or 1/2 cup of Woolite mixed with a gallon of warm water. If you want a solution that is not going to just clean your windows but keep them streak free for some time, you can mix up a batch of this heavy-duty window cleaner that doesn't mess around.
2. Start by scrubbing windows with a sponge or scrubber
This is especially important if you are cleaning windows at the end of winter or if they haven't been washed for a while. Regular glass cleaner and towels are just not going to cut it.
3. Squeegee horizontally outside and vertically inside
Use a squeegee and run it horizontally across the window on the outside. This will cause any dirty drips to run downward and will not mar your newly cleaned surface. When you are squeegeeing the inside of the windows, which are not as dirty, you can squeegee the window vertically. This way, if there are any streaks, you can tell whether they are on the inside or outside by whether they are vertical or horizontal. As you work your way down the window, wipe the squeegee clean between each stroke and overlap each pass. This should result in a clean, clear, streak-free window.
4. Clouds are your best friends
Try washing your windows on a cloudy day or when your windows are in the shade. Direct sunlight will dry your windows too quickly and make it difficult to get rid of streaks. Not to mention, direct sunlight will make it difficult to see the streaks in the first place. The first time you look at your windows in a dimmer light after cleaning them in direct sunlight, you may wonder if you even washed them at all.
5. Reach the top of windows with no ladder
We all know there are 101 uses for a Swiffer and you can add cleaning windows to the list. Just wrap a paper towel around your swifter, spray on some glass cleaner and you can clean the very tops of the tallest windows with no ladder. You can also use pre-moistened window cleaning cloths as well.
Of course, the best way to clean your windows is to have someone else do it for you. While you may want to do touch-ups yourself, it is recommended that you have your windows professionally or thoroughly cleaned at least twice a year.